Washington lawmakers had two weeks to negotiate and construct the next stimulus package.
However, negotiations between Republican and Democratic leaders have stalled, so it remains unclear what type of economic relief package will ultimately be presented to Americans still struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.
How much money U.S. citizens and families will receive if/when a compromise is official is unknown, but distribution amounts and eligibility requirements are at least presented on the GOP-backed HEALS Act.
“There are only really two choices for them: negotiate with Democrats and meet us in the middle,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a CNet.com report.
Schumer also said the second choice is to “go the route of President Donald Trump making an executive order.”
Friday was the original deadline set by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The HEALS Act has endorsed a $1,200 direct payment cap to qualified individuals, although a person’s tax filing status in 2019, among other factors, will determine how much of that $1,200 is received.
The Republican plan, according to CNet, would include $500 for dependents regardless of age.
This is a change from the first stimulus package (CARES Act), which denied payment to dependents 17 and older and university students under the age of 24.
In addition, the initial CARES Act provided no limit on the number of children who counted as dependents as long as they were under 17 and claimed by the taxpayer on their return. It meant a married couple with three kids, if qualified, could have received a maximum of $3,900.
Under the HEALS Act, without a maximum number of dependents, there is no mention of a cap on the total amount a family may receive.
A third proposal, the HEROES Act, which blazed through the House but has not yet been discussed in the Senate, has a $6,000 cap for families. It would distribute $1,200 to individuals and $1,200 each for up to three dependents.
CNet is reporting that second stimulus checks will likely be distributed in the same variations as the CARES Act, via check, direct deposit or Economic Impact Payment (EIP) cards.
While Republicans and Democrats have agreed that a second, direct payment to eligible Americans is needed, forecasting when a final bipartisan deal is struck is unknown.
US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Friday that if the two sides can manage to reach an agreement, he’s prepared to “start printing [stimulus checks] the following week.”